Life Hacks to Take the Stress Out of Dog Parenting

by Hannah Roundy

Life with dogs is the best, but that doesn't mean it's stress-free. Here are some hacks to help.

Dog parenting isn’t all morning walks and belly rubs. From potty training to veterinarian visits, you might be feeling overwhelmed trying to do the best for your pup. Never fear – there's plenty of life hacks and pet products that can make dog parenting easier. And we've rounded up our top tips to help.

3 Simple Life Hacks for Dog Owners

Stay Positive

One crucial life hack for dog owners is to be patient – with yourself and your pup. You might feel frustrated when your dog misbehaves and that’s okay. 

If you’re feeling frustrated, remember to take a few deep breaths. Dogs are extremely sensitive to emotions and body language. They may not understand why you’re upset and a recent study shows that dogs hesitate to trust their owners when they are angry. 

Correct your dog’s mistake by speaking to them in a normal tone of voice and showing them what to do. Rewarding your dog with treats when they follow commands is always a win! You can enforce good behavior in a dog without making them scared. 

Exercise Your Pup

It’s difficult to carve out enough time in the day to get your dog proper exercise. But when your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they can get stressed and act out. This can be difficult for your pup and you as a dog parent. 

An exercised dog is a happy, healthy dog. Try your best to walk them once a day or spend time actively playing with them. This will help your dog relax at the end of the day and feel less stircrazy. Exercise is also great for us humans, so it’s a win-win!

Feed Your Dog a Healthy, Balanced Diet

The most important life hack for dog parents is to feed your pup a complete and balanced diet. Look for dog food that meets your dog’s unique health needs and is free of artificial flavors or filler ingredients. 

Sundays for Dogs is a safe, human-grade dog food that was created by a veterinarian. It’s made with fresh, all-natural ingredients that provide your dog with all the nutrients they need to be happy and healthy. 

Sundays is an easy life hack for dog owners who want to conveniently feed their pup a fresh food diet without sacrificing space in their fridge. Their food is air-dried to preserve natural flavor and nutrients - so Sundays is shelf-stable. Plus, dogs go crazy for the taste.

Best Dog Supplies for Stress-Free Dog Parenting

Refilling Water Bowls

It can be inconvenient to fill up your dog’s water bowl multiple times a day – especially if you have a large dog who drinks a lot of water. 

Try buying a refilling water bowl to cut down on time at the sink and worry when you're out of the house. These bowls make the list of some of the best dog supplies you can buy because they have a large tank that adds water into your dog’s bowl as they drink. You’ll fill up less and your dog won’t need to wait on you to give them more water. 

Doggie Cam

Sadly, we can’t spend every minute at home snuggling our dogs! It can be anxiety-inducing for you and them when you leave the house. It’s hard not to worry about their safety, comfort... and if they are going to chew something up. 

Keep an eye on your pup while you’re away with a dog camera. This is an inexpensive life hack for dog owners who leave their dog at home for longer stretches of time. A standard single security camera only costs about $20-$30. 

You can also buy cameras that are specifically designed to monitor your dog. The Furbo Dog Camera rotates a full 360 degrees to keep all angles on your pet. Its key feature is the ability to toss your dog a treat straight out of the camera! Furbo also has 2-way audio so you can hear and speak to your dog, along with an alert that monitors your dog’s barking. 

GPS Collar

For the dog parents who are concerned about their pup getting lost, try a GPS collar. This will allow you to track their location from your mobile device. Some GPS collar brands will even send messages out to other pet parents telling them to keep an eye out for your lost dog. 

Brands like Fi offer fashionable dog collars with built-in GPS tracking. Collars like these tend to be a bit pricey. For a more affordable option, you can add GPS tracking tags like Tile onto your dog’s ID tag or collar. 

GPS collars are some of the best dog supplies for adventurous pups – but be sure any tracking device you buy is waterproof and safe for pets. 

Puzzle Slow Feeding Bowls

Some dog breeds love to eat… so much that they inhale their food rather than chew it. Eating too much too fast can upset your dog’s digestion – not to mention there’s always a risk of them choking. 

For eager eaters, try a slow feeder or puzzle bowl. These dog bowls have ridges or patterns built inside to help your dog eat at a slower pace. Not only will this help your dog’s digestion, but it makes feeding time more fun and mentally stimulating. 

Dog Gear You Don’t Need

Retractable Leash

As convenient as they may seem, retractable leashes come with a few downsides. Retractable leashes are quite thin and can break off if your dog runs quickly enough. The thin leash is also difficult to for people to see. There are numerous incidents of bikers or runners getting into serious accidents because they are unable to spot the retractable leash. 

Retractable leashes might also confuse your dog. If you switch up the length of the leash too often, they are getting mixed signals on if they need to walk close to you or if they can walk a little ahead. 

You can read more about why you shouldn’t use a retractable leash in a blog written by Sundays co-founder and practicing veterinarian, Dr. Tory Waxman. 

Expensive Dog Beds

It’s fun to buy things for your pup, but you don’t need to spend money on an expensive dog bed. Your dog doesn’t care about the color and shape of the bed. As long as they are comfortable, they will be happy. 

Many veterinarians recommend orthopedic dog beds to avoid musculoskeletal issues like hip dysplasia or arthritis. Make sure that the size of the bed is wide enough to accommodate your pup. 

Dog Stroller

We can all agree it’s pretty cute when dogs ride in strollers, but it’s not necessary by any means. 
Dog strollers are very popular for small and toy breed dogs who can fit comfortable inside. But you don’t need a dog stroller unless your pup has mobility issues. 

It’s good for your dog to go on walks and explore new sights and smells. It keeps them physically and mentally stimulated. But if you have a dog who struggles to walk, talk with your vet about a dog stroller. 

Try Healthy, Easy Sundays